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Less than stellar BBQ results thus far...

GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
So far my slow and low BBQ on the egg has been less than stellar. I have tried ribs, pork butts and brisket and all have had a similar 'washed out' flavor. I am not sure what is going wrong but I am beginning to suspect that it is just the nature of BGE BBQ. I am going to try two more butts overnight tonight before going back to the Chargriller side fire box for BBQ.

I bought the egg because I loved BBQ so much and EVERYTHING that ever came off of my old Chargriller/SFB was out of this world. Anybody that joined us for those BBQ meals said that it was the best they had ever eaten. I hoped the Egg would produce similar or better results with a lot less hassle maintaining the pit temperature but that has not been the case. The temp control is fantastic but the flavor of the meat always seems extremely bland, almost boiled. Not at all what we had come to expect from the old unit. I am using the same meat from the same store, the same rub, the same wood, the same temps but not getting the same results.

Anybody ever had this experience? If so please share.

Egg lovers please take no offense, I am pretty happy with the egg all in all and have made many great meals on it but the BBQ has left much to be desired.
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Comments

  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    Are you using foil?
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 http://www.sunshinestateeggfest.com You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit www.bubbatim.com for BRISKET HELP
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    Never used foil while cooking. I've been loading with Royal Oak American lump along with split mini logs of hickory and mesquite, rubbing with my own rub of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, onion, oregano, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, cayanne, dry mustard. Get the egg rolling by lighting with a torch and allow it to stabilize for about an hour. I always pull the meat out, rinse it, dry it, rub it heavily and put it straight on when the smoker is stable at about 230-250. Let it roll until I get an internal temp of about 195. Foil, rest in a cooler a couple hours and pull. The meat nearly shreds itself and is moist. Looks perfect and tastes...Crappy. I don't understand.
    I have done at least 30 butts on the the barrel smoker and every one was nearly identically delicious.
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    Is it possible that you are using methods that are more suitable to cooking on your old off-set? Are you foiling the meat more than needed, or using too much added liquid? Meats cooked on the Egg tend to hold their own moisture extrememly well, so much so that I don't even foil my ribs anymore unless pressed for time and only use it when cooking brisket or pork when I've got the thing stuffed to the gills and need a little sheilding around the edges. As for added moisture, ribs and pulled pork get an occasional light sprtiz of an apple cider mix that is really more of a flavorant and glaze for the bark.

    It's been my experience with those off-sets that they tend to give a very stong, bitter, burnt wood flavor to the meat, could it be that you personally prefer that type of flavor and are missing it with the Egg?
  • Citizen QCitizen Q Posts: 484
    I'm curious, is the foil and rest method a prescribed method to your cook? I try to avoid that step except as a last resort when things finish off too early. Never understood why so many people recommend it, anything foiled hot and stuffed in a cooler is just going to steam in it's own juices. That could be your trouble right there.
  • This is interesting ... Don't give up on the egg ... the benefits of pit management are there like you noted ... and the flavor is there too.

    I had a similar experience and I can't wait to see what others say about this. Been meaning to post on it and haven't yet.

    I was using same everything when I switched to the egg a year ago and we both felt that many of our favorite recipes were lacking in smoke flavor compared to 'the old smoker.' I learned that I had to put a lot more wood into my coals, and had to figure out exactly where the coals were burning because I could fill up my large egg with coal and wood but on a slow smoke, very little of the coal was actually burning ... so if I didn't have chips or chunks on that small spot where the fire was hot, there wasn't much smoke.

    I have also wondered if the plate setter has any effect ... I say that because if you watch the smoke it curls around the setter and the food ... granted the dome stays full of smoke when shut ... but if there is little smoke and enough draft to curl it around the plate setter and out the top vent ... maybe the meat isn't getting as smokey as normal?

    Sorry, I started answering your question and then ended up asking a similar one, but I think this may be a good thread to cover it in. Don't give up on the Egg!!!
  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    I don't understand either. It seems you have all the experience and knowledge to do a succesful cook. Sorry to hear your cooks are not meeting your expectations. The good news is you can sell your egg and get back 75% of your money. :woohoo: :whistle:
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 http://www.sunshinestateeggfest.com You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit www.bubbatim.com for BRISKET HELP
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    I don't use any foil or liquid at all so I don't think that is it.

    I guess it could be that the offset smoker just makes BBQ taste different but I am a food person and I think I am a good judge of what is good. Also, the people that have eaten with me have noticed the same thing, BBQ has just seemed tasteless when made on the egg. I am sure I must be doing something wrong because there are way too many people here saying that BBQ on the egg is better than any other. I hope so anyhow.
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    I am sitting here looking at the egg and I think I may have found my problem. I am noticing that there is no smoke coming out the chimney. Maybe my problem is that the temp is too low to allow combustion of the wood? I have 5 good sized chunks of Mesquite and 5 of Hickory mixed in to the coals and I laid a couple right on top to make sure that I got some smoke during the early stages.
    Anybody ever have 'lack of smoke' issues? With the offset I always left the chimney wide open and smoke was rolling throughout the cook.
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,778
    What temp are you using for low and slow?
    The Naked Whiz
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    I think CitizenQ hit the nail on the head. What you are calling washed out the rest of the BBQ world calls great.

    Bellowing smoke is bad smoke. You want the smoke to be clear or really light blue. I have competed in competitions with 50 to 100 teams all cooking all night long and smoke is the last thing you see. You sure can smell some great Q being produced but no smoke.

    Having to feed a offset every three hours with charcoal and wood may be causing you think that is better than what you are getting. Good Q has a subtle smoke flavor.

    The rest of the flavor comes from the meat and spices used.
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    The temp I have been using is around 250 dome or a little lower.
    I disagree that the washed out tasting Q I described would be called great by anybody unless they were used to some garbage out of a plastic bucket from the supermarket. It really is bland and you will just have to take my word for it that I know good from bad. Like I said before, me and my friends are big in to food and nearly every night is a spectacular meal amongst friends. The BBQ that came out of my smoke bellowing offset was great and I have no doubt would have done very well in any competition. Friends and family often encouraged me to enter some competitions or start a catering company but I prefer to keep cooking a hobby and not make it my life. I spent enough time in the restaurant biz to know better.
    Check my earlier post about a lack of smoke possibly being the issue and tell me what you think.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    Read my post again. Bellowing smoke is NOT what you want. That bellowing smoke contains volatile organic compounds and grease burning in a fire. You want CLEAR or Light blue smoke. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's there.

    I just left a family reunion where everyone was praising the chicken that was served all I tasted was the light-fluid used on the charcoal.

    You are obviously doing something different on your egg than you are doing on that CharGriller. Since you seem to be telling us all the right things you say you are doing I have to wonder what it is you aren't telling us.

    As for the CharGriller producing better food than a BGE I can honest say that ain't even close. I was never so happy as the day the last of my Chargriller's left this house for good. If the chargriller was the last cooker sold on earth I wouldn't eat any more Q.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    In the l&s temp range there is a low end that does no produce much smoke from the flavor wood. I am still unsure if I want actual smoke or if I am getting smoke when I don't see the smoke coming out of the egg.

    Your description of your cook sounds perfect and have no idea why the food is tasting bland.

    I follow much the same and I don't go to bbq places any more because their flavor isn't close to what ht eegg puts out.

    There is one local bbq restaurant that has great deep smoked chicken. Their beef and pork isn't all that good. I just can't seem to get the amount of smoke flavor that there chicken has. But I keep trying.

    GG
  • SlickSlick Posts: 382
    How much of your wood is left after the cook? I did spares yesterday for six hours at 250, full load of lump, lit one spot right in center. Put on two fist-sized pieces of cherry where I lit the lump and still had light wisp of smoke coming from daisy wheel when I took them off. At least half of the chunks are still left, and there was plenty of smoke flavor.
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    I did read your post and understood it completely. I appreciate the advice and assure you that I am not leaving anything out of my explanation.

    In regards to your statement about white/bellowing smoke being bad I respectfully disagree. When unburned wood ignites in any offset style stick burning smoker there is going to be a substantial amount of smoke for a while until the wood burns down a bit, then the thin blue 'good' smoke will start to roll. This does not mean that the meat is going to be acrid or nasty in any way. Many championship BBQ cooks add wood throughout the entire cooking process going through the smoke cycle many times. To hear you say that you wouldn't eat BBQ if it came off a Chargriller is surprising, it makes great food, just a PITA.

    I am thinking that part of my problem with the egg is that I am not getting enough smoke. That still would not explain the washed out taste though. I can cook a pork butt on the stove top and still get a great roasted pork flavor so there must be more to it.
    Like I said, I appreciate your input and I am just hoping to one day get the best results out of my $650 investment.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,159
    GulfCoastBBQ,

    I am not a huge fan of smoke. I use very little and I always scorch it with the mapp gas all over. That way it doesn't produce the acrid smoke others talk about here. You may want to try that as well as bury some chunks in the lump.
    Compliments for the way you framed the question too.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    Slick wrote:
    How much of your wood is left after the cook? I did spares yesterday for six hours at 250, full load of lump, lit one spot right in center. Put on two fist-sized pieces of cherry where I lit the lump and still had light wisp of smoke coming from daisy wheel when I took them off. At least half of the chunks are still left, and there was plenty of smoke flavor.

    The last thing I Qed was a packer brisket and after about 28 hours I still had about 1/4 of my lump left (I started with a BIG load) along with maybe 1/4 of the wood that I started with. I only started with maybe 3 or 4 chunks of wood about 8 inches long and about 1.5 inches thick. That was the worst brisket I ever made by a mile. It was tender, nearly falling apart but not much beef flavor or smoke and quite bland. It was okay chopped and mixed with some cattlemans on a sandwich but not the way I intended it to be. Not even close. I don't get it.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the fire in an egg is awful small. placing a bunch of chunks around doesn't guarantee smoke, because the fire often burns down, not out.

    i build my fire with smaller bits, not fist sized chunks. in the middle, i place some lump, then some chips (or small chunks, really. thumb sized), then a bit more charcoal, then more wood, etc.

    as the fire burns downward, it contacts more lump, and in among that is new wood.

    i think in an offset, you must have a much larger fire than in a BGE.

    that makes it easy to always have smoke, because so much wood is involved. but since the fire in a lo-and-slo in the egg is so small, if the wood isn't right there, you won't get any smoke. i prefer smaller bits for this reason. i have seen a fire grown downward from underneath a big chunk placed on top, leaving the wood spanning a divot, as the fire burns down underneath i (and not in contact with it).
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Why have you never posted any photos? Do you realy own a Big Green Egg? I remember you from this past Feb crying how the Egg can't cook better than your smoker. If you can't cook on it, then get rid of it. JMHO.
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    Soup Nut wrote:
    Why have you never posted any photos? Do you realy own a Big Green Egg? I remember you from this past Feb crying how the Egg can't cook better than your smoker. If you can't cook on it, then get rid of it. JMHO.

    Are you just a jerk or do you need a nap? Go away-
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    You are absolutely right I have been cooking all that pork for all these years wrong...

    All those competition teams who use offset and preheat their wood to prevent that bellowing smoke are wrong too..

    This from a guy who boils ribs.. Good luck with your cooks.
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    Celtic Wolf wrote:
    You are absolutely right I have been cooking all that pork for all these years wrong...

    All those competition teams who use offset and preheat their wood to prevent that bellowing smoke are wrong too..

    This from a guy who boils ribs.. Good luck with your cooks.

    I never said that you were doing ANYTHING wrong, just that I didn't agree with your belief on smoke. Obviously you don't take it well if somebody doesn't agree with everything you say. Wow, relax champ. I am sure your mantle is covered in BBQ trophies.

    And why are you trying to say that I boil ribs, is that some sort of an attempt at an insult?

    Why do some people get so defensive if somebody dares to suggest that they might have a problem with a Big Green Egg? I am happy with mine all in all, just can't seem to perfect the BBQ part.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,768
    I guess Culinary definition of Braising and yours also differ. As in "I prefer my ribs braised till tender"

    If you like that thick white smoke then by all means add it to your cook; however, you are not just disagreeing with me. You are disagreeing with just about every pitmasters in the US. A great deal of which are better than me.

    Perhaps the reason we get offensive is because you come in here and tell us your pork suck and we attempt to tell you why and you continue to tell us we are wrong..

    If you aren't going to take our advice than why even ask us the question..

    No need to respond to this.. I won't be reading it anymore.
  • I must have hit a nerve! With all of your BBQ cooking you have never posted one photos. Thats funny. Every newby can't wait to share thier results. I guess someone of your caliber does need to take photos. All you have done, is entertain us with your ignorance. Another term for boiling is called brasing which is what YOU like to do for you beef ribs. I must thank you for posting today. It has been a little slow on the forum. And this from someone that WAS in the restaurant industry. I guess waiting tables didn't work out for you. Gee, what a shame. I still say you don't own an Egg. :woohoo:
  • Pork Butt MikePork Butt Mike Posts: 2,584
    My good friend, remember me, the one you like making fun of because I am dyslexic. I live here on the Gulf Coast, why don't you post some pictures of your Egg and I will buy it since you are having so many problems with it. My three eggs can use another brother.
  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    Now Mike, play nice. Some folks take longer to learn how to cook and smoke on the BGE. He has used a BSD with an offset fire box for many many years and from what he says, he likes his meats smokier than what he can do on his Egg. Lets be fair. He obviously loves carcinogens with his BBQ. :blink: :S
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 http://www.sunshinestateeggfest.com You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit www.bubbatim.com for BRISKET HELP
  • GulfCoastBBQGulfCoastBBQ Posts: 145
    The "Braised til tender" was in regards to the photo of a pack of thin sliced, cross cut beef short ribs, not a rack of ribs. I don't think that particular style of cut would take well to a long time in the egg. Give it a try and let me know how they turn out but I would think they would dry up before getting tender.
    I have a bunch of pictures on a card that I have not yet got around to posting but I will when I get a chance. A couple of them are pretty awesome, I kept the lens open on a cleaning burn and the chimney looks like a jet engine.
    Anyway, thanks for the advice and I will let you know how the two butts that are currently on the egg turn out.
  • Maybe you should try, as an experiment, loading the egg mostly with wood splits. Very small splits, with some lump. And use some wood chips as well. If you see you are burning through your fuel too fast, you could have some started in a chimney starter.
    If you can control the temp with just the bottom vent, then you might leave off the daisy-wheel top in hopes that some of what you term as excess moisture not be retained. The downside to this it that the smoke won't stay around as long, but with a mostly wood fire you should have plenty.
  • Panhandle SmokerPanhandle Smoker Posts: 3,018
    I am with the rest of the crew, I don't understand why you are getting a washed out taste. If any thing some of my cooks may have too much smoke flavor but I too like the smoke flavor. I usually do my low and slow between 225 and 250 and only use 2-4 chunks depending on size of the chunks. I have beautiful smoke rings and plenty of flavor. I will be starting another brisket in the morning. Good luck on your butts, I hope you get the flavor you are looking for.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if he's controlling the draft with the lower vent, the smoke won't exit any faster than the air comes in anyway
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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